Characteristics and Objectives of Physical Activity

  • Created by: joe
  • Created on: 12-04-13 20:29

Leisure Time

Key Characteristics 

Leisure can be defined as spare time during which individuals can choose what to do. When all duties and obligations have been completed, there may be a little time left to spend as you wish. Some people like to relax and spend their free time inactively, while others look for excitement and danger - it is a matter of personal choice.

Key Objectives

  • Stress relief - relaxation, improve health and fitness
  • Social benefits - meeting people and forming friendships
  • Physical skill development
  • Self-confidence and self-fulfilment improvement
  • civilises society
  • encourages social and racial mixing

Physical Recreation

Key Characteristics 

Reaction can be defined as the active aspect of leisure. It is entered into voluntarily during free time and people have a choice concerning which activities to take part in. The focus is on participation rather than results.

Key Objectives

  • Relax
  • Socialise
  • Be creative
  • Improve health and fitness
  • Community integration through mass participation events
  • Less strain on the NHS
  • Social control and crime reduction
  • Employment opportunities 
  • Economic benefits



  • Fun - designed for enjoyment and non-serious
  • Spontaneous - a spur of the moment decision to play
  • Simple and childlike in nature
  • Non-rigid - rules and time and space boundaries should be flexible
  • Self-administered - participants 


For adults:

  • The key feature of adult play is motive. For an adult, play has mainly psychological benefits as it can provide stress relief, an escape from the reality oof everyday life, and an opportunity to relax.

For children:

  • The main function of play for children is to master reality. Through play, children can learn:
  • Social skills, such as making friends and cooperation
  • Physical skills, such as coordination
  • Emotional skills, such as accepting defeat
  • Environmental skills, such as safety awareness
  • Cognitive skills, such as decision making
  • Moral skills, such as fair play

Physical Education


  • Developing physical skills, for example coordination, body awareness
  • Developing social skills, for example communication, cooperation, forming friendships
  • Developing mental and cognitive skills, for example decision-making, self control
  • Improving health and fitness through activity and knowledge of the benefits of exercise
  • Developing self-esteem and confidence through success
  • Developing leadership skills
  • Helping to prepare young adults for active leisure when they leave school, for example via school-club links and taste sessions at local sports centres

A Triangle Model of PE

  • Education
  • Sport
  • Recreation


Pupils experience National Curriculum PE from the age of 5 to 16 as a compulsory subject. They are taught a range of activities and physical skills in a number


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